The Chronicle of Higher Education
August 8th, 2014
Whether the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign violated the
academic-freedom rights of Steven G. Salaita, an Israel critic denied a
job there, is likely to depend on whether campus administrators had
previously made Mr. Salaita a formal job offer and whether his tweeted
views on Israel were the reason they revoked it, two top officials of
the American Association of University Professors said in a statement issued on Thursday.
Rudy H. Fichtenbaum, the AAUP’s president, and Henry F. Reichman,
chairman of the association’s Committee A on Academic Freedom and
Tenure, said in their statement that “a number of facts concerning this
case remain unclear” because neither Mr. Salaita nor the university’s
administration have offered public comment on it.
Reiterating a position taken on Wednesday by Anita Levy, associate
secretary in the AAUP’s department of academic freedom, tenure, and
governance, they said Cary Nelson, a former AAUP president, did not
speak for the association in arguing that the university’s
administration had acted properly in refusing
to ask the university’s Board of Trustees to approve the hiring of Mr.
Salaita as a tenured professor of American Indian studies.